Lyric life

Best Campaign #PlasticFreeLyric

We were delighted to have won a Creative Green Award for 'Best Campaign' at this year’s Julie’s Bicycle Creative Green Awards for our #PlasticFreeLyric campaign.

Creative Green is an international community of pioneering cultural organisations that recognises and celebrates environmental best practice of events, venues, museums, galleries, festivals and offices using the transparent and methodical Creative Green Framework.

#PlasticFreeLyric was a 4 week campaign in which we undertook a series of actions based around our aim to give up as much single-use plastic as possible. In week one, we gave up single use plastic bottles and our Bar & Grill removed from sale single-use plastic water bottles and stopped offering plastic straws. Instead, we promoted tap water and reusable bottles to all our audiences. We also swapped all the plastic glasses that audiences take in to the show for biodegradable corn starch alternatives.

Across week two, we focussed on giving up single-use plastic lunch containers. We asked all our staff to bring lunches in reusable boxes and to refrain from using plastic, disposable cutlery.

Week three focussed on giving up disposable coffee and tea cups as well as plastic bags. We started selling stylish eco-coffee cups in our Bar & Grill, with your first coffee free, and then offering a 20% discount for our audiences who purchased hot drinks in reusable cups. Our staff were incentivised even further as they couldn’t get their tea or coffee hit at the staff discount rate without bringing a mug or reusable cup to the bar.

In week four we invited the brilliant Harriet Lily from ‘Plastic Free Me’ to talk to staff about their work, and how staff might want to look at longer term, personal changes. On the final day of our #PlasticFreeLyric campaign we welcomed the University of Exeter to the Lyric’s studio for an inspirational evening to discuss the research behind Blue Planet 2. Here two Exeter academics, Dr Steve Simpson from the Bio-Sciences department who provided the research to Blue Planet, and Dr Evelyn O’Malley from the Drama department whose research looks at the role humanities play in the face of climate change, led a wonderful conversation on plastic pollution and our role within that. Blue Planet 2 inspired our campaign, so it was wonderful to end our campaign on this note!

Though this campaign focused on instilling positive habits for a month, we’ve used it to implement longer term changes, such as:

  • Completely removing all single-use plastic bottles from sale in our Bar & Grill – sometimes using glass alternatives but mainly encouraging audiences to help themselves to free tap water!
  • Removing all plastic straws, and replacing them with paper alternatives – but only available on request to reduce volume.
  • Replacing all single-use plastic cups and tubs at our Bar & Grill with corn starch alternatives (we are looking at other options for our bar, including a possible cup deposit scheme).
  • We now sell reusable water bottles and eco-coffee cups to our audiences, offering discounts on hot drinks to those who use them.
  • We have upgraded and increased the number of water fountains around the building, so topping up reusable water bottles is easier for all our visitors.

Thanks to all our staff, partners and audiences who joined in with this campaign, ensuring its success!

Our next #LoveGreen campaign is just around the corner…